It’s around this time of year that Arsenal really start to show their quality and push for the coveted fourth spot that they have occupied for the past two seasons. After a tricky start to the season, Arsenal are now 5th in the Premier League, level on points with Southampton.
The Gunners were very impressive against a poor Aston Villa last Sunday, beating them 5-0 in a ruthless affair. The result meant that it was Arsenal’s third win in a row and Arsene Wenger will be desperate to increase that run when they visit White Hart Lane on Saturday.
Arsenal have a number of players returning to the squad that will aid their push for Champions League football. Wenger has a host of attacking options to choose from in the next few months but here are the FOUR Arsenal players that FFC believe will be pivotal to a the Gunners ending the season as they should:
Since Ospina replaced the faltering Wojciech Szczesny in goal for Arsenal, the Colombian World Cup ace has been hugely impressive. He produced solid performances against Stoke City, Manchester City and Aston Villa; including a brilliant save to deny Ashley Westwood las time out.
If he stays fit, the goalkeeper could be the answer to what has become a problem position for the club in recent seasons due to the often erratic form of Szczesny. Since he has replaced the Pole, Arsenal haven’t conceded a single goal in the Premier League, with Ospina making seven saves in the process. Arsenal have undisputed attacking talent and balancing that with a reliable, solid goalkeeper will be vital to ensuring that they finish as high in the table as they can this season.
The full return of Mesut Ozil against Aston Villa sent out a subtle reminder to any doubters that the German international is a class act. There will be a lot of anticipation surrounding how both Sanchez and Ozil will link-up in Arsenal’s attacking midfield, but with all that talent, Arsenal should find it easy to unlock the most stubborn of defences.
In eight league games this season, Ozil has scored two and assisted two. There is no doubt that he will want to improve those figures and a return to full fitness will result in him performing at the highest level for Arsenal once again. Hopefully Wenger plays the German in a central position so that his vision and skill can be used to its full effect. Whatever happens, his presence in the team will lift the players and Ozil himself.
Another player returning from injury that will also be incredibly important to Arsenal’s form in the latter half of the season, Theo Walcott is as dangerous as anyone in the Premier League on his day. His unrivalled pace will be absolutely vital to a midfield that often boasts creativity but lacks in speed. However, with the likes of Sanchez, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Walcott all options for Wenger in midfield; there is no doubt that there is an abundance of pace now available to the manager.
Due to the fact that Walcott and Ozil are returning from injury, they will really start to hit top form when other players may be tiring. This is a huge bonus for Arsene Wenger as his team has struggled with injuries so far this season. Hopefully Walcott can produce a number of impressive performances like the one against Aston Villa for the remainder of the season, allowing him to return to the international stage.
Again, Giroud is another player that has struggled with injuries this season. However, since his return, the Frenchman has been very impressive once again, popping up with important, classy goals that have gained Arsenal vital points in their push for the Champions League places. He has seven league goals in 12 games this season.
Giroud’s goals will be vital to Arsenal for the rest of the season. With the likes of Walcott and Ozil now back in the side, creating chances for the Frenchman shouldn’t be an issue for the Gunners. Arsenal do not boast a host of options up front so keeping Giroud fit must be a priority for Wenger in the coming months.
Although he may be the obvious choice, there is a reason as to why that’s the case. The Chilean has been in unstoppable form this season, scoring 12 goals and recording seven assists in 21 Premier League games this season. He has been an absolute revelation for Wenger’s side and will continue to thrive from now until the end of the season. His pace, skill and creativity makes him an excellent outlet in the Arsenal team; and the thought of Walcott, Ozil and Sanchez playing in the same midfield is a very exciting one.
Despite the return of some star names, Arsenal players should still look to give Sanchez the ball at every opportunity due to the fact that he is capable of producing the sublime. His signing represents a massive step in the right direction for the Gunners and he is sure to play a huge part in the rest of Arsenal’s season.